Thanks to some links from the kind people at Assistant Village Idiot and Maxed Out Mama, I have gotten a bit more traffic than I expected in the past two days. As such, I realized it might be a good moment to spell out some of the rules for this blog I’ve had bouncing around in my head. These are rules for me really, not for commenters, as no one can hope to tame the internet:
- I will try my best to provide a link for every study I cite, and this link will get as close to source data as possible. Nothing drives me crazier than reading about “new research” with absolutely no clue as to where to find it. I spent almost 20 minutes trying to find where the heck Jack Cafferty got his numbers for this article, and it made me mad. I won’t do that to you. And here are the numbers he reported on, as a sign of good faith.
- I will attempt to remain non-partisan. I have political opinions. Lots of them. But really, I’m not here to try to go after one party or another. They both fall victim to bad data, and lots of people do it outside of politics too. Lots of smart people have political blogs, and I like reading them…I just don’t feel I’d be a good person to run one. My point is not to change people’s minds about issues, but to at least trip the warning light that they may be supporting themselves with crap. That being said, if I start to lean to far to one side, smack me back to center.
- I will admit that I will probably fail at #2, and have lots of other biases as well. What, you thought I was going to claim to be neutral? No special snowflake here, we humans can’t help ourselves.
- I will, when I can, declare those biases up front. When I review a study on changing last names, I think it’s relevant that I didn’t change mine. When mentioning healthcare reform, I think it’s relevant that I live in the one state in the nation that won’t be affected by it either way. It makes it easier
- I will attempt to explain all stats words that are used. I am not a stats teacher, I am just someone who uses a lot of data to get a job done. I would love to do more than just preach to the choir, and thus I will try not to have any prereqs for this class. For the very smart commenters I have here, this may get tedious, but bear with me.
- I will try to improve my use of apostrophe’s. I’m really not good at those.
- Suggestions always welcome. The internet is awesome because I get to learn from smart people I normally wouldn’t meet.